Friday, July 18, 2008

Butterflies and co.

I am glad that I took the photograph (still unidentified) of the white vetch last week because it has now vanished from all the places where I observed it. That was a very short lifespan.

Tuesday was a good day for flowers - and also for butterflies and other insects. I have been dissapointed that I have been unable to see as many butterflies this year as I have in previous summers, but the weather conditions really haven't been in their favour. However they seemed to be out in force on Tuesday whilst the sun was out.

I also saw my first Burnet (Zygaena) - of which Leslie Butler also has a photograph on his Stave Hill/RDW Flickr site.

I think I managed to see one of the dreaded Harlequins as well - looking very like a ladybird but much larger, with a conspicuously domed profile.

See some of the photographs below (click on the small image to see the bigger photo if required). The butterfly shown above is a Gatekeeper (male).

On a different note entirely, we had a very good meeting at the Surrey Dock Farm last night about plans for the new buildings which are being proposed to replace the one that burned down several years ago. A lot of very good ideas came out of the session, and it was extremely nice to see how much genuine enthusiasm is around.

Gatekeeper (female)

This is a Zygaena filipendulae or Six Spot Burnet - a moth which comes out during the day. Scabious is one of their favourite flowers.

The grasshoppers are a bit beyond me - neither of these photographs has captured sufficient diagnostic information to match up with my insect guide book.


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